Jammerzine has an exclusive interview with a duo of masterclass composers and musicians that go under the moniker of Hybrid. With their new album titled ‘Black Halo’ releasing tomorrow via Distinctive Records, Hybrid are poised at just the right time to release a new album on the scale of originality and creativity as I have seen in this past year, to say the least.
Hybrid is not only a unique music project, but a pair of composers who have been in the game since the 90’s and have written music for over 30 feature films, computer games and trailers including Fifty Shades Freed, X-Men: Wolverine, Billionaire Ransom, the Fast and Furious franchise.
That culminates into the music of ‘Black Halo’ A concept album in flow and style and a soundtrack to that future set of memories you will get. You will hear me in the interview praise this album for a few reasons. Almost in a gushing manner. There is reason for this. Maybe I heard ‘Black Halo’ at just the right time. Maybe I heard it in just the right setting. To be honest, part of the reason I say this is the best album I have heard in a while was how it changed my mood and my outlook for the day with the first track and sustained that feeling, modifying it with each song, through the end. Prompting a second listen. That is what music should do. introspect, interpret, influence, and enhance. And I can say, with all honesty, that this has the potential to do the same for you. There are many layers in each song on ‘Black Halo’. Musical, emotional, and spiritual.
In today’s interview, we talk about the songwriting and creative process that defines Hybrid as well as the album itself. This is as much a good conversation as it is an informative interview. Enjoy!
‘Black Halo releases July 9th, 2021 (purchase and artist links below).
The sweetest musical spots are always found deep between the contrasts. Dark and light, orchestral and digital, dramatic and delicate, raw and polished, sadness and bliss. Searched for by many, discovered by few, conquered by Hybrid; it’s a creative place where any story can be told. From studio to stadiums, dancefloor bangers to symphonic film scores, the clue’s been in their name since day one.
Hybrid’s electric spark for splicing musical DNA has been evident since their first ever single in 1996; Symphony, a cult club anthem where orchestral dynamics met jungle-inspired breakbeats. 25 years, six studio albums, myriad tours and a few line-up splices later, their ever-evolving, often bass-laced,
sound remains a constant in an accelerate scene. And that same thirst for fusion they began with is now nuclear. Attuned and amplified over years of writing and performing with their full band; it’s a fine-tuned alchemy that runs deep in everything Mike and Charlotte Truman do. Be it conjuring powerful dynamic electronic productions that can tear down underground music havens like Fabric London, working on scores for Hollywood hits from Hobbs & Shaw to Hercules to Interlude In Prague or living, writing and recording in a family home with over 60 animals.
Their CV is a dizzying litany of pinch-yourself moments and accomplishments, including collaborations and credits with luminaries as far-ranging as Cypress Hill, Perry Farrell and Hooky from New Order. With band mates Stu Morgan (guitars and bass) and Simon Hanson (drums) they continue to take their art to incredible places through speakers, stage and screen. And at the heart of it all is simply this: powerful storytelling.
A deep emotional narrative runs through all Hybrid music. You can sense it in Charlotte’s stirring songwriting and vocals, you can hear it in Mike’s formidable sound design and production, you can tangibly feel it in the drama, tension and release of the arrangements. Their latest album – Black Halo – is the best example of this so far. Largely written during the turbulence of 2020, the album celebrates the perseverance and triumph of the human spirit. No matter what life throws at us, we thrive and survive. To enhance this narrative even more, and join further dots between their love of music and the big screen, they’ve created three conceptual videos with writer/novelist James Scudamore and actor Edmund Kingsley. Weaving sci-fi themes with the stark, hard-hitting reality of the 21st century, Hybrid’s visual fusion is just palpable as the music itself.
Following on from their critically acclaimed 2018 release Light Of The Fearless – an album eight years in the making which saw them execute a precision come-back with a sold out tour – Black Halo reaches for those sweet spots between the contrasts once again. Somewhere deep between organic and electronic, faith and escapism, strings and synths, drums and bass, fear and hope, it’s a place where Hybrid can tell their boldest stories so far.
A band whose electrorock influence echoed throughout the ‘90s straight up to today, Hybrid have always been on the forefront of the electronic music scene. Merging Jimi Hendrix-styled guitar riffs via guitarist/vocalist Stu Morgan into Mike’s sonic soundscapes and punctuated by drummer Simon Hanson’s meticulous rhythms, Hybrid’s music allows Charlotte’s clear and pristine vocals to float and weave effortlessly.
Originally formed in 1995 at the height of the UK-led Breakbeat Era, Hybrid became leaders of an electronic movement that encompassed a dizzying litany of pinch-yourself moments and accomplishments, including collaborations and credits with luminaries as far-ranging as Cypress Hill, Perry Farrell and Peter Hook from New Order. In their own right, Hybrid continue to take their art to incredible places through speakers, stage and screen. And at the heart of it all is simply this: powerful storytelling.
- Charlotte Truman (vocals, piano, synths, guitar)
- Mike Truman (sound design, producer)
- Stu Morgan (vocals, guitars, bass)
- Simon Hanson (drums, percussion, backing vocals).
Featured image by Steve Gullick.